Monthly Archives: January 2007

Just One Hug

Ok, I have a beef with this one. I wrote the post, published it, and the entire thing disappeared! (except for the title) Grrrrr. So, I guess I get to re-write.

I put Emmy and Jacob into the cart/stroller ready to head off on my walk. My ankle was feeling much better, and with the warm up walk I did yesterday, I was anxious to get going. Dorothy was dancing around the driveway when she saw two of the little girls that she frequently walked to and from school with.

“Mom, can I go walk with them? Please, Mom, please?” she begged.

“Sure,” I replied popping a kiss on her head, “I love you.”

She dashed off anxious to join her friends. I continued to get everything ready to walk while Elizabeth waited patiently. ” I want to walk with you,” she had said when questioned why she didn’t run off with Dot. I pushed in the last of the blankets and we headed off, not rushing, just enjoying the walk. I stopped and spoke with the crossing guard for a few minutes. By the time we were on our way again, Dot was long gone. Most likely already at school I figured. We rounded the last corner and began walking down the last stretch of sidewalk toward school.

In the distance I saw a small figure running at full speed, her back pack flopping up and down. At first I thought she had forgotten something, then I saw the tears. It was her usual upset cry, this was broken hearted sobbing. My mind was frantic as I tried to figure out what was causing such distress.

“They told me they hated me,” she gasped in broken sobs as she flung herself into my outstretched arms.

“Who?” I asked puzzled.

“The girls I was walking with. They really hurt my feelings”

I did my best to console her, hugging her long and hard, reminding her of all the people who loved her, and to remember how she felt so she wouldn’t hurt someone else’s feelings in the same way. But really, in the end all I could do was give her a hug and tell her I loved her. She seemed in better spirits and bordering on happy by the time we reached the school. Moments like this hurt both parent and child. I felt my heart broken with hers. I know there will be many more moments like this too come, though I somehow don’t think they will ever become easier, or that I will ever really know what to say. But, I can always hug. There is a powerful amount of healing in just one hug.


Filed under Children, Dot, Lizy, Parenting

A Hairy Saga

It all started a few months ago when I went with that new hair style – you know, the one where I actually had to figure out what mousse and pomade were, not to mention by a can of hairspray the size of a family soup can (heh) all in order to do my hair. All this stuff was very foreign to me, the tomboy, and even more foreign to my scalp.

I didn’t notice until a couple weeks before Christmas how itchy and sore my head was, until I found myself abesnt-mindedly scratching my scalp. The first thoughts upon the realization were, well- I am sure you can imagine. I grab the closest kid and checked her hair, relieved to find nothing. So, that left me with the question, what is going on with my head?

Quite simply put my scalp was staging a revolt on the hostile take over I had imposed on it some months before. In short, my hair and scalp were dry, dry, dry. I tried fancy conditioners, shampoos, the works and it helped some. I switched to a different mousse as suggested by a sister, but to no avail. Finally I hit the point where I woke one morning to find it weeping, it was so dry – and sore.

I began working hydrocortizone into my scalp, stuck a hat on my head, and made an appointment with my Dr. I figured it was just a really bad case of eczema as I am prone to dry skin anyway. Apparantly it was a particularly nasty reaction to the hair product.

He gave me a perscription with the orders to not do anything to my hair other than wash it. Eek! So, if you see some crazy in a hat or with really bad hair, that would be me. But at least, it is getting better, doesn’t hurt or itch anymore either. Yay! I’ll just be happy when I can do my hair again – oh, and for those of you with sensitive skin – avoid Pantene. You probably already knew that, but the hopeless tomboy had no idea. 🙂

And I suppose there’s the consolation that at least I didn’t have to battle the other thing – because that would have involved the whole family and a lot more washing…


Filed under Every Day Life

My New Year Post (a little late)

Often I have sat down with the hoardes at the beginning of the New Year and have jotted down resolutions that I knew would never be completed. This year I just let the year slip in quietly. I didn’t write resolutions, and tell myself that this year I was going to do such and such every day. Goal setting is not a bad thing, it is a very good thing, but sometimes my goals are unrealistic, call for perfection and throw me into guilt when I fail to perform them without fault. I did however make one resolution: a concious decision to improve and make this year better than the last. Shake out the rugs of routine, and through open the windows to let the sunshine in and freshen up my spirits, maybe even dust off a few forgotten dreams. A fresh new start on a fresh new year….

(written in sapphic stanza; a poem for the new year and many other things)

Sunshine come and romp with me, chase the storm clouds
from my face that shroud me in shadow. Wake my
heart and spur my dreams from among the grave of
negligence. Silent

too long, I have wandered in circles waiting
for your warmth to enter my shuttered soul and
stoke the fires of passion and aspiration.
Why have I wandered,

silent, waiting? Can I not open windows
to my soul and chase away gloom that festers
there? Awake my soul and renew the dreams that
once were dead. Awake!

-J.H. Schmidt

(I’ve been playing with creating headers to fit the mood I am in, or my blog is in. Thus the reason for a bit of change today…) 🙂


Filed under Every Day Life, Philosophy, Poetry, Writing


Being a toddler, Jacob has a way of copying everything you are doing. Sometimes, as things are a bit hard for him, it can create some marvelous innovations on his part.

It was Christmas time and we had just finished decorating the tree. The house was full of an air of jubilation and frolic fun as joyous music wrapped its arms lovingly our home. I bounced lightly and snapped my fingers as the children danced about my legs. Eager to join in, Jacob began turning circles and bouncing to the music. Then he raised his little hands above his head and began to rub his fingers together. He stopped a moment and looked at his fingers, trying to puzzle out why there was no sound coming from his fingers, when there was from Mommy’s. You could see him mentally shrug his shoulders and continue to rub his fingers together.

But, this time, he was clicking his tongue as he rubbed his fingers. So now, whenever we snap our fingers, he clicks his tongue and rubs his fingers together. To me that is adorable genius. 🙂


Filed under Children, Family, Humor, Jacob, Parenting

Ug! Ug!

The girls were lined up coloring at the counter, Jacob was happily scampering about, and I was busily finishing up dinner.  With a subtle creak the front door opened and a flurry of feet hit the floor at the jangle of keys.

“Daddy’s home!” came the chorus from the girls as they pounced upon him from all sides.

“Papa! Papa!” came Jacob’s little voice with his legs carrying him in the fastest duck waddle he could possibly go, arms outstretched. “Uh! Uh!” He cried forcing himself on tippy toes until Paul swung him into a warm embrace.

Things settled down and the girls returned to coloring and Jacob continued to scamper about.  Paul came into the kitchen and gave me a big hug and kiss, encouraged by the shreiks of, “eeewww” from the girls.  Jacob has even learned that word now. heh.

Suddenly, there was a little person squeezing between our legs, “Ug! Ug!”

We looked down and there was Jacob, arms upstretched. “Ug! Ug!” he said again.  Paul crouched down, trying to figure out what he was saying and Jacob catapulted into him wrapping his little arms around his neck. “Ug!” he said, kissed Paul on the cheek and took off.  We chuckled as we realized he had been calling for a hug.

Then, I had an idea.  I whispered something in Paul’s ear and we followed Jacob into the family room to try out my theory.  Paul gave me another hug and kiss, and suddenly Jacob appeared squeezing between us, “Ug! Ug!”  We tested the theory a few times, greeted with more “ew”s fromt he girls and every time there was our little Jacob, “Ug! Ug!”ing away. Giving us both hugs and kisses and going on his merry way.

It made me smile, he’s as bad as our dog Susies when it come to attention. heh 🙂

By the way, Jacob sends you all an “Ug! Ug!”


Filed under Children, Family, Humor, Jacob, Parenting, Things Kids Say

A New Page

I added a new page today titled “Books” (the button for it is up above my profile along with “Home” and “About”). I thought it would be fun to keep track of the books I read and see just how many I usually go through in a year. If you have a book that you absolutely love and think I would love feel free to go on in and recommend it to me. If you want to see what I’m reading and what I think of it you can take a look at that too. I won’t have a long dissertation on each book, just a general yay or nay. If you have a question about a certain book, feel free to ask.

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Filed under Blogging


It all started that fateful day I drove my truck into the driveway that wasn’t there and my friends had to tow me out. Since then life just hasn’t been the same. I had been doing so well not being terribly goofy, but boy have I had a total reversal since then. After those crazy holiday events I though, maybe,just maybe, I could continue on with life in a somewhat normal state. Hah!

I was sooooo excited to go walking on Tuesday. I hadn’t been able to walk for two weeks and I was chomping at the bit to get out the door. I finally managed to haul all the kids out the door and we sauntered our way over to the school, but once they were out of site, I popped in my headphones and took off. I felt so good, I was just burnin’ up that pavement, oh yeah.

I made it about half a mile and was nearing a stop sign. I had walked over this ground a million times, what made today any different? Well, that day I managed to find the one uneven spot and my ankle just folds over to the side and sends me flying with all the grace in the world. It wasn’t even the ankle I twisted a week or so ago, nope, it had to be the other one. I resulted in bruising the side of my foot becuase of how I landed on it. Thankfully, the cart(stroller, whatever) prevented me from going all the way down, I just sort of lunged and began hopping across the grass, and the car at the stop sign just sat as though watching me do some crazy sort of dance. But now, I was at least a quarter mile or more from home (becauseof the loop I go on I was closer to home than what I had walked) with a hurting ankle. So, slow and steady wins the race and I managed to hobble my way home again.

Then, later that evening, as I try to cross the fence, my foot catches and I go smashing into the huge bin of legos, whacking my cut off toe, hard, on the top of the fence. I managed to catch my arms on the counter though, and sort of hung there, before struggling back to my feet. Paul heard the crash and came running.

“Is everything ok? Sounded like someone could hav gotten hurt out here.”

“Nope. Just me,” I replied rather nonchalantly, with a I don’t know what your talking about air.

“That’s what I’m afraid of,” he replid.

I don’t know, that last sentance says a whole lot….



Filed under Every Day Life, Goofs, Humor, Love and Marriage

Come On In…

… and have a seat! Welcome to my new home. After a lot of contemplation I decided to go through with the change that I have been thinking about for months. I think Karen’s decision to make the switch inspired me to action.

The template will still go through some changes, but I think I’m pretty well settled for now. I categorized all posts, so all the old stuff is here, and easy to find (hopefully).

Anyway, drop me a comment and let me know you found me! 🙂


Filed under Blogging

Come and visit my… NEW BLOG!!!

Yup. I am have been contemplating it for a few months now, and Karen’s move inspired me to action. The change took place a lot quicker than I thought it would, but I have happily moved in to my new home. So adjust you sidebar links and come on over to the new place. Drop me a comment there to let me know you found me!

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Filed under Blogging

The Most Fabulous Toy

It was one of the coolest toys Mom had ever made. Hours were spent as we drove cars around on the roads and through the tunnels. Technically it belonged to one of my brothers, though we all spent hours upon hours playing with it, playing cops and robbers, or races across the mountain side. As the years passed it began to get worn down from usage and parts began to break. We grew out of childhood and away it was shuffled, but not entirely forgotten. We always talked about that amazing paper mache mountain for matchbox cars that mom made. Sibling created their own for their children and the orginal was thought to have been destroyed and thrown away. Many years drifted by and Paul bought me a piece of wood to use as a base to make my own mountain, but I never got a chance to start.


It was the day after Thanksgiving and Paul began draggin boxes out of the attic with all our Christmas decorations hidden away in them. I was working on getting things ready inside and the kids were hopping about with excitement.

“J, J! Come quick,” Paul exclaimed racing into the kitchen where I was attempting to prepare lunch for four absolutely starving children.

“What?” I asked, inquisitive.

“Just come,” he said.

While curious, I was also concerned as he lead me up into the attic that there was something dreadfully wrong. He handed me the flashlight and pointed to a dark corner, far back in the attic. I swung the beam that way. My jaw dropped in unbelief as the flashlight illuminated the acient mountain that he had played with so long ago.

“That’s it isn’t it?” Paul asked, recognizing it from my description of the most awesome toy.

I nodded, amazed. We pulled it out and examined it in the foggy light of day. It looked terrible. Parts were broken and worn away and in numerous places mice had used it for lunch. It looked as though, at one point, that someone began efforts to fix it up for there was a layer of yellow brittle paper mache poorly attached and peeling. I dusted off the cobwebs and dirt and gave it a few good shakes to make sure no one had made their home in it, and a thought began to take place in my head. After a talk with my parents and brother about my desires I set to work.

I wish I had taken a picture of the terrible state it was in to begin with, but I didn’t think about it. I began by ripping off the first few layers of paper mache. Once that was complete, I began to apply fresh new layers, building up areas that had been smashed, reattaching broken areas, and reinforcing the weak spots. After a few layers, and weeks of drying it got to this point:

Mt 1

Then I primed it and let it dry for another 24 hours:

Mt 2

Finally it was ready to paint. I did a base coat of brown over the entire mountain, then I painted a dull grean over everything that wasn’t a road. Deciding it needed a bit more color I combined, light and dark green, and some yellow and, using a fan brush, textured the mountain all over. Then, because it was a mountain I decided it needed a bit of grey so I used the ended of a paint brush to stipple a medium grey, combined with some black and white from time to time, in spots to resemble outcroppings of rock, and the top of the mountain. Working in more grey the higher up I went. Then, to finish it off I topped the peak with just a bit of snow. 🙂 And, finally I sprayed the whole thing with a clear acryllic sealer. Then I just locked my office door and let it dry until Christmas (which at this point was just 2 days away.

Arial view:

Mt 3

Ground views from different angles:

Mt 4

Mt 5

Mt 6

On Christmas day, after everything was opened, Paul brought the mountain out and the kids pounced on it. Though technically it is Jacob’s the whole family (even me) has had fun playing with it.

Kids & Mt

Kids & Mt 2

So the most fabulous toy gets to make another round for the next generation, hopefully it will be around for a long time to come…


Filed under Family, Memory